Skip to main content

"Coercive" land acquisition on in Andhra Pradesh to build Singapore-type state capital

By Our Representative
Civil society network National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)-sponsored Dandi-to-Delhi Samvidhan Samman Yatra, currently in its second phase, reached the Amravati region, the proposed capital city of Andhra Pradesh, where it was told that the whole vision of making a capital city by chief minister Chandrababu Naidu has “devastated the agriculture in more than 29 villages in the name of development.”
Talking with NAPM activists led by well-known Goldman Environment (also called Green Nobel) prize recipient Prafulla Samantara and top Gandhian socialist Sandeep Pandey, Kiran Kumar Vissa of the Rythu Swaraj Vedika said, the Shivram Committee recommended to set up capital either in a decentralized manner or in Rayalseema.
The yatra, which began at Dandi, Gujarat, on October 2, Gandhi Jayanti, will end on world human rights day, December 10, in Delhi. In its second phase, it reached Andhra Pradesh after travelling through Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka and Telangana. 
“However, Naidu, rejected the report and decided to go ahead with the Amravati plan with a promise to make a city like Singapore. This obsession with western model of development has threatened the indigeneity of the area”, he underlined, adding, the acquisition of more than 50,000 acres of land for the capital city through coercive “voluntary land pooling” has left little option with the cultivators of the region.
“The benefits of consent and social impact assessment (SIA) provisions of Central land acquisition Act, 2013 remained distant for the people. From transparency to public hearing, everything was just bypassed to silence any voice raised against the acquisition. After land pooling, no farmers are allowed to cultivate the land even when no work started on the land”, Vissa said.
Worse, he said, not learning from the the devastation of Chennai flood, Amravati also seems to be following the footsteps of Chennai and encroaching on water bodies. It is the irony in the country that the real estate sector and businesses are being given priority on top of environment and people of the largest democracy.
The yatra reached Undavalli, the first village in the route. Activists took out a rally starting from the fields of Undavalli, with a large number of farmers joining them, suggesting discontentment among the people, suppressed since long by the state government.
Rythu Swaraj Vedika activists, talking with yatra participants, said, there are 120 documented different crops being cultivated in the region. The area is famous for its rich fertile soil which supports four or more crops at the same time.
Naji Reddy, a farmer from Nidamarru, the second village visited by the yatra, said, “On one acre of land, 50 people are dependent on an average, ranging from the families of cultivators to small-scale traders. An agricultural worker earns Rs 200-400 a day in the region. What will we do when we are dispossessed our land and livelihood? The government is giving us false promises like providing free education and health services in the name of development.”
Jayamma, a woman farmer from the village, said, “We are farmers and we only know how to cultivate our land. No amount can compensate loss of our life-long livelihood and basis of right to life. Money will be finished and we all will be left with no choice but to work as a worker in the factories where industries will rule our lives.”
“If the government and chief minister of Andhra Pradesh wants us to give up our land and livelihood, they should also be ready to give up their seats. They don’t deserve to represent us anymore”, she added.
At Lingyapalem, the third village, where a public meeting was organised by local community leaders, people said, the state government is hell bent on acquiring land and driving out everyone, including original inhabitants of the land. It is nothing but an injustice with adivasi, dalits, and landless workers.
Another public meeting was held in Ongole, organized by the Democratic Traditional Fishworkers Forum, APVVU, and State Yanadi Union, where local leaders expressed serious concern over the proposal to construction of 18 new ports and a large number of power plants, commissioned around ports on the 760 km long coastline of the state.
“All this is being done under Sagarmala and Industrial Corridor projects”, it was pointed out. “The access to the coast is being systemically restricted for the fisherpeople. They are being forced to abandon their fishing practices and become migrant workers in their own state.”
“We are unable to go for fishing as the rising urban population due to rapid urbanization around coasts and urban pollution are killing the fish population”, said A Subharav, a fisherman. “The coastal regulatory zone (CRZ) norms are being violated. Police officials brutally treat protesting fisher people. People are being killed and their bodies were taken away by the police forces”, added K Subharao, a teacher.

Comments

TRENDING

Australia least prepared to fight Hindu 'extremism', admits diaspora NGO group

Tiranga rally in Sydney: Cause of stir among diaspora By Our Representative  The Australian Alliance Against Hate and Violence (AAAHAV) has said that Australia is “least prepared” to counter the allegedly “rising threat of Hindu far right extremism”. Calling upon politicians, federal and state governments to “urgently recognise the threat far-right Hindu extremism”, it asks “to take concrete steps to address this threat.”

Young environmentalist's arrest 'sinister', even parents not told of her whereabouts

By Our Representative  The Coalition for Environmental Justice in India (CEJI), a civil society network, has said that it is “highly disturbing” that Disha Ravi, a young woman climate activist from Bengaluru was “picked up” in what is referred to as a “closely guarded operation” of the Delhi police. Disha, 21, has been remanded to police custody for five days after she was taken from Bengaluru to Delhi.

Mukesh Ambani's earnings during Covid 'can lift' 40% informal workers out of poverty

By Dr Gian Singh*  The Inequality Virus Report released by Oxfam, a non-profit organization, on January 25, 2021 on the growing inequalities in different parts of the world, sheds light on the growing economic, educational, healthcare and gender inequalities in India. The report has revealed that the wealth of billionaires has increased by 35 per cent during the lockdown period in the country.

US forensic revelation enough evidence to release Sudha Bharadwaj, others: Civicus

Counterview Desk  Civicus, a Johannesburg-based global alliance of civil society organisations and activists claiming to have presence in 175 countries with 9,000 members and working for strengthening citizen action, has sought immediate release of Sudha Bharadwaj, arrested in 2018 under the anti-terror Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and accused of having links with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives

By Shamsul Islam*  First time in the history of independent India, the in-charge minister of the Cultural Ministry in the current Modi government, Prahlad Singh Patel, has glorified MS Golwalkar, second supremo of the RSS and the most prominent ideologue of the RSS till date, on his birth anniversary, February 19. In a tweet he wrote : “Remembering a great thinker, scholar, and remarkable leader #MSGolwalkar on his birth anniversary. His thoughts will remain a source of inspiration & continue to guide generations.”

'Bird, take me flying with you too!' Being Devangana Kalita

By Ashley Tellis*  I first met Devangana Kalita in a first year English Honours classroom in which I entered to teach Charles Dickens’ Hard Times in Miranda House, Delhi University, in 2008. She was one of the smartest students in the class – Devangana smiled the most and had the brightest twinkle in her eyes of the girls in the class. A middle class girl – Kalita comes from a family in upper Assam, the Kalitas along with the Brahmins dominate Assam (the Bamon-Kolita nexus as it is called) – in an elite all women’s institution known for a feminist, rebellious history. Like all institutions, it was repressive; like all all-women institutions, particularly so. But Miranda House had met its match in Devangana. She organised, protested, all within the democratic tradition resisted. The seeds of Pinjra Tod, the group Devangana was to eventually co-found, and which now finds her jailed for as absurd a reason as inciting a ‘riot’ were already sown in that first year. By the third year, they

20% of FIRs against journalists in 2020 alone, targeted attacks in 2021 'too many to count'

Counterview Desk  Condemning what it calls “alarming rise in state repression and clampdown on news outlets and journalists” that “expose” the anti-people nature of the establishment, India's top civil society network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has demanded “immediate release of arrested journalists, withdrawal of arbitrary charges and protection of media persons facing threats.”

NAPM extends support to Indian, Aussie citizen groups 'opposing' Adani ventures

#StopAdani action in Australia  Counterview Desk  The civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), extending solidarity to the global campaign by the Youth Action to Stop Adani (YAStA), held in recently in Australia and India, has said that the effort was to bring more attention to the struggle aboriginal, indigenous peoples, farmers, working class and other oppressed communities against allegedly anti-people multinational corporate conglomerates.

Ahmedabad slum dwellers lathicharged: Demand for basic amenities for settlements

By Our Representative  Ahmedabad police allegedly used brute force to break up an assembly of migrant workers demanding decent housing. Hundreds of workers had gathered before the district collector’s office, Ahmedabad, to submit a memorandum to the district collector demanding that their settlement be enumerated as slums and basic services like light and drinking water be provided.